A Valentine’s Guide To Weight Loss & Well-Being

Ah Valentine’s Day! It’s 45 days into 2016 – how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? A friend of mine recently commented that she no longer has to wait for a treadmill at the gym… Don’t worry. I’m not going to hassle, berate or shame you for not going to the gym – or for sneaking some of that Valentine’s Day chocolate early. What I am going to do is suggest that the best way to achieve your 2016 weight-loss and wellness goals is to address your relationship with your body.

The relationship with your body?? Yes – whether you know it or not, you are in a relationship with your body. The only question is…what kind of relationship is it? Do you ignore your body? Are you so focused on other things that you tune out the signals it sends for nourishment, movement and rest? Do you abuse your body? Do you intentionally override its requests for food because those impulses conflict with the “rules” of your diet of the week? Do you eat so much your stomach hurts – trying to “stuff down” your emotions with food? Do you punish your body with grueling and painful workouts? Do you love your body? Do you treat your body with honor and respect? Do you advocate for your body? What kind of relationship with your body do you have?

Why is this important? What does this “relationship thing” have to do with losing weight? This “relationship thing” is important because relationships are EVERYTHING!

Relationships are the not-so-secret “secret sauce” to success. In every other industry we understand this – and we take it as a given. In sales, management, production, organizational development –in every other industry – even in professional sports – we understand that outcomes and results are ultimately driven by relationships. The best sales people, the best managers, the best employees, the best leaders, the best “team players” all have great “people” skills – they are great at building relationships. But in the weight-loss industry, the focus on relationships –specifically the relationship with your body – is practically non-existent.

Now I could go off on a tangent and illustrate how the weight-loss industry actually keeps you disconnected from your body, but I’d prefer stay focused on the solution rather than the problem. The most powerful and effective thing you can do to support your weight-loss and wellness goals is to cultivate a strong relationship with your body. And this is actually a pretty simple thing to do – just think of your Valentine.

Everyone has a “Valentine.” In my book, a Valentine isn’t someone who is defined by a Hallmark card. A Valentine is your most loving and life-affirming relationship. Your Valentine could be your spouse or significant other. Your Valentine could be a grandparent or other family member. Your Valentine could be your best friend – even if your best friend is your dog (or cat).

Think of your Valentine. How does this person make you feel? Do they support you unconditionally? Do they give you the space to be who you really are – without judgment? Do they listen to what you have to say and really hear you? What specific things do they do to contribute to your relationship in a meaningful and positive way? Now what about you? What do you do for your Valentine? Do you support them unconditionally? Do you give them the space to be who they truly are – without judgment? Do you really listen and hear what they have to say? What specific things do you do to contribute to the relationship in a meaningful and positive way?

Now take these same skills and tools you use with your Valentine and use them to cultivate a strong and powerful relationship with your body. It’s as simple as that.

However, in closing, I must admit I’m a bit of a Valentine’s Day “Grinch.” It’s not that I don’t appreciate cards, chocolate, flowers and jewelry. I appreciate those things very much – especially the chocolate!! I simply think all the hoopla surrounding the holiday can misdirect our focus. We should honor and celebrate our relationships with our loved ones – especially our body – every day. I think EVERY day should be Valentine’s Day!